I had the privilege of leading our worship service today. Our pastor is on holiday. I have led services, complete with delivering my own sermon a number of times over the past five or six years.
It started with youth services. Since I was a youth leader and did most of the teaching for the youth group, I was asked one year to prepare the message for their annual service. Youth services are a great experience since the setting allows for more freedom than a regular morning service. I would tie the message to power point slides and videos and actually present the message from the aisle rather than the stage. This allows for more interaction with the listeners.
After our church split, leaving us with no pastor, I was given the opportunity to fill special services like Thanksgiving as well as the odd Sunday when no other preachers were available. Since our current pastor came, I have likely done more services than before, partially because she encourages it.
I do enjoy it. It’s more than my enjoyment of public speaking which I do on a regular basis for my job. There’s just something about presenting God’s word to your fellow believers and have them react in a positive way to the words. I truly believe that they are not just my words, very often a bit of inspiration comes from places that are not expected, and words flow to the page with more ease than normal.
There is a negative side as well. When it is done and the service is over there comes a tremendous tiredness (likely the after effects of an adrenalin high) along with the feeling of self-doubt. Second guessing what was said. Wondering if there should have been more. Doubting the effectiveness of the delivery. Asking myself whether I would have been better to stay in a comfortable pew.
I learn a lot from these experiences. The study and preparation is good for me. Aside from the post delivery trauma, I feel good about leading these services.
I am open to doing more.